• neil

Day 39 (25 April): Thinking out of the bottle

That’s right. Out of the bottle. Just to shake up the conventional, hidebound, old school “out of the box” mindset. Everybody left the box years ago but then huddled round it too scared to go far.

So give rein to your idle curiosity, open a bottle of something chilled and be prepared to follow me on a new approach to managing your days.

Sleeping arrangements

This morning I teetered on the verge of changing my bedsheets. But why change sheets when you can change beds. My girls are away so I can sleep one week in each bedroom. Following the advice of a leading expert I leave the lights on and turn up the heating so that when I get back to room number one the bedding is sterile.

It is important to be methodical. Ignore Admiral William McRaven's otherwise excellent advice and only make up your bed at the end of each week, just before changing rooms. The rumpled bedlinen will serve to identify the room of the week if you over out-of-bottle think.


Breakfast: Don’t bother with it.

All you need is a bowl of Uncle NeeNee’s Patent Porridge around lunchtime as a reward for doing your yoga and remembering to feed the guinea pigs.

You need fibre and fruit. You need, apparently, a whole bunch of healthy stuff. So why not aggressively zap it all in one go and get it out of the way? Porridge is the way to do this.

Add walnuts, pecans, almonds, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, hemp powder, raspberries, blueberries and dried blackcurrants to your porridge. Or vice versa. The mixture should be so thick you can plant a flag it - and the flag should be able to fly in a stiff breeze without falling over.

In the spirit of make do and mend this should probably be the Dutch flag as it can be used right down to the stick without creating confusion. The French lose one colour and they need a new flag...

The Dutch had clearly been doing some Jenever flavoured thinking when they came up with that one.

Wash the porridge down with a pint of green tea. Yes of course its disgusting. It was designed disgusting. But it is full of Aunty Occidents or so the Prez tells me.

You are now free from the refuelling task until the evening .

An added benefit is that you will have made such inroads on the fibre, minerals, proteins and vitamins that, come the evening, dinner can be given over to the other major food groups, pizza and chocolate.


You are by now doubtless fully up to speed on Zoom. You giggled (you do giggle; live with it) on reading about the lady who attended a work meeting in a potato filter and and was unable to get back to 'normal'.

Stop giggling.

If your company is truly to embrace out of the bottle thinking the use of filters should be compulsory. Each meeting participant should be allocated a filter on an arbitrary basis and then defend their point of view in character. Prioritise the use of Cosmic Cat, Eggplant, Pingu, Donut Head (that perhaps should be reserved for the boss), Disco Avocado or Psycho Mushroom.

I guarantee fresh insight. The effect is enhanced if all participants drink two large

shots within the first five minutes. This can be done out of a discreet opaque coffee mug if you are an over-achiever.

Routine maintenance

I have repeatedly found myself washing and drying clothes and then taking them upstairs to put away. Why?

I am not disputing the merits of the washing process itself. Alfie positively insists on it.

But the dryer constitutes a perfectly good storage space when it has finished its primary job. Post-porridge I can just throw my jammies in the washer and take shorts and T-shirt from the dryer. Both machines are in the garage and perfectly placed for me to take a quick swig of bleach if I feel a cough coming on. You can put the steam-iron on ebay; market it as a collectible curiosity.

Radically re-examine what it is you are wearing. Ties already went the way of hats. Suits are now going the way of ties. But go further.

Think how much time have you wasted in your life, if put end to end, matching up socks. From now on you should wear the first two socks out of the storage dryer. Colour coordination be damned. I garden in mismatched socks, jammies and a bathrobe. It has the added benefit of convincing the neighbours to respect social distancing. Especially when you wear socks of dramatically different heights.

On the other hand it is probably better to forget everything I just said. It's the weekend. The last thing we need is for some smarty-pants to rethink that.

Keep strong and keep going!



64 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All